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Get ready for a busy summer with unique events

As Pagosa experiences another great spring break season thanks to our friends from Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas and other visiting states, businesses are looking forward to our own spring break in April. However, at the Chamber, we’re already planning and looking forward to our summer activities and two events in particular in June.

We are honored that the Bicycle Tour of Colorado will be returning to Pagosa this year and, once again, they have chosen our community as the two-day stay-over community for the tour. They will be arriving in town on Wednesday, June 25, and departing Friday, June 27.

At this time, we will provide the traditional “Party in the Park” on Wednesday evening. Cyclists will be camping at the high school and staying at motels around the community for two nights. Then, on Thursday, the cyclists are on their own for a day of soaking, shopping and eating all those high-carb meals.

We will be contacting the nonprofit organizations shortly to determine if there is interest in hosting food booths in Town Park on Wednesday. So, start talking about this event in your board meetings and express your thoughts as a retail merchant if you would be interested in a shopping promotion to include shipping and get your “biker” food specials ready.

The other large event in June is Rural Philanthropy Days (RPD), to be held June 11-13. Over 400 regional participants and organizational funding agencies from the Front Range will be in attendance.

While most of the attendees will be in sessions on Thursday and Friday, time has been set aside for the participants to get out and enjoy some of Pagosa Springs. There will also be two large functions held to spotlight our community and for the attendees to network.

The event on Wednesday evening will be held on Reservoir Hill and mirrors the theme of the event: “More Than Meets the Mountains.” The event on Thursday will be held in Town Park and will be titled the “Culinary Crawl,” as there will be numerous food stations.

Both of these events will use local caterers, as will the breakfasts and lunch. However, there will be community food opportunities on Wednesday and Friday and perhaps some evening mixers after the community events.

RPD is an important showcase event for our community as funding agencies will not only be looking for ways to help Archuleta County, but they will also be looking at what we have done with their funding dollars in the past. We hope that, no matter what store or restaurant or lodging facility the attendees patronize, that you as business owners will heartily welcome this event and the attendees.

After our April spring break, get ready to have a busy summer as the Chamber leads the charge in hosting these two unique events. More information will be forthcoming soon through e-mails and notices.

Business Bites

On Tuesday, March 25, the Business Bites session will be on online review sites such as Trip Advisor, Yelp, Expedia, Angie’s List and other online sites. If you are not paying attention to what people are saying about your business — you should be.

You could be getting rave reviews that you can use to your advantage. How can you get even more reviews? How do you graciously answer negative reviews and help your business — not just escalate a potential problem? Through reviews, you might also identify concerns that can easily be corrected or enhance your service. Don’t miss the panel of business owners that use these reviews to their advantage and can help you take your business to the next level.

Interact, share ideas and suggestions and enjoy a great lunch at Boss Hogg’s. Business Bites will be held from noon to 1 p.m. The cost is $12 for members and $15 for non-members for lunch including tax and tip. Take this time to work on your business and be the best you can be and let the online world know how good you are.

Maximizing membership

The Maximizing Your Membership class for March will be held on Monday, March 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. This information-packed class will take you through your Chamber benefits. Don’t just pay your dues; make the most of your Chamber membership. A free lunch is included in the seminar. Please call the Chamber to reserve your space.

Business news

We are drawing close to finding an executive director for the Chamber. An announcement should be forthcoming in the next week. We appreciate all the interviewees’ time and effort and look forward to the next stage of the Chamber. We are excited about the enhancements for the business community and look forward to implementing some new programs while maintaining our successful endeavors.

We have one new business to add to the Chamber membership this week. Deborah Schulte with San Juan Mediation Services —Sensible Solutions joins. Deborah brings years of experience as a lawyer, a judge and even from a client perspective. She wants to work with individuals, families and businesses to solve problems sensibly without the emotional or financial costs or traditional court remedies. Her experience ranges from two-person disputes to multiple party, complex litigation and her knowledge of the legal system and its impact is driving Deborah to devote her career to helping people solve problems through mediation. To speak with Deborah or to find out more about her services, visit her website at www.sanjuanmediation.com.

We welcome back our renewals: City Market, Extra Vacations through Wyndham Pagosa, Incredible Pagosa Vacations, SelecPRO School Photography and Harms Photo/Graphic Associates, Ajia Cuisine and Pagosa Baking Company. The nonprofit renewals include the Archuleta School District 50 Joint and Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program.

Our most heartfelt congratulations to the Lady Pirates for their outstanding season. We are so proud of you as leaders, team players and community members. We hope you had fun in your run for the state playoffs and know that you all are greatly respected and admired for your skills, tenacity and teamwork in representing Pagosa Springs. Thank you, ladies.

This story was posted on March 20, 2014.